tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 4, 2014 5:00am-7:01am EDT
of that, people sent a clear message to the government that we need to soften the edges of this austerity. i think you saw that message more widely across europe. now, you asked about the italian prime minister. and peter so rightly quoted all of these elegant statements from all of these leaders and they all go in the same direction. we've got to be more intelligent. more relevance, less red tape, et cetera, et cetera. the real problem is that it's so easy to say these things, it's so tough to do. because we have been saying this in europe for so long. in 2001, the constitutional
convention was the same challenge that we're trying to address. we've got to connect better, be more relevant and reach the citizens. we wrote the script essentially back then and we're still trying to find ways that can do it. so there's no difficulty we can always stand up and give the speeches about ideally the way europe needs to go forward, balancing this and that, and so on. but actually the challenge for us to do it this time is what is so huge. let me reecho peter's plug on that. there may be some short-term complications, as there are here in the united states because of the midterm elections.
essentially, it's the response to that big question of how we try to channel globalization and the u.s. and europe have huge responsibilities there. because a win-win that's fair and balanced and seems -- that's what is needed. i think an intelligent, fair, balanced tip is part of the answer rather than the problem. >> thank you very much, ann. i think we'll go now to a little bit of a question and answer mode. it will not be one question, but a few points, and then we'll try to make it as interactive as possible. i van, i'll start with you. could you please identify yourself so everybody knows. >> senior vice president at the
german marshal fund. thank you for organizing this excellent panel. two questions. one is, one of the great successes of the european union has been the enlargement heralded over these past years, we're celebrating ten years of the big bang. the question is, what do these elections mean for the future of enlargement, because we have in washington the unfinished business in the balkans, not to mention turkey. a core part of geographical europe that is not yet integrated. not unrelated to that is the second question, ukraine. has ukraine been a wakeup call like the elections have been? geopolitics for many of us, we knew it was never out. for some, they thought it was
pushed to the side. will this lead to a more concerted european foreign security policy? thank you. >> thank you. >> getting to a more of a technical aspect on the economics of this, which is the major initiative for europe, certainly in the euro zone this year, is the banking union. just a fairly straightforward, but complicated question i think, which is the motivation for banking union in part explicitly was to address the so-called loop of the relationship between sovereigns and the banks that held their debt and this potential risk. we don't hear much about that anymore. i believe that sovereigns -- sorry, banks within the euro zone own as much if not more as
they did in the beginning of the crisis. to sovereigns are treated as risks with assets. and they have now said that is not the case. that sovereigns should be treated as risk related assets. so a question when you're addressing within the context of the banking union this relationship between sovereigns and banks, are sovereigns riskless or not? >> we'll take two more. >> thank you. i wanted to come back to the leadership -- >> and former u.s. deputy trade representative. >> that's right. i wanted to come back to the leadership question that we started with, because it's critical for dealing with a host of challenges about u.s. and europe and a lot of the other partners are facing. going into the election, it was
anticipated that the far right and the far left would make gains. so i don't think the result was wholly unexpected. at the same time, the concern that i saw was not that we didn't know who was going to emerge as the likely candidate for the presidency, but that there was no consensus how that person, he or she, would be chosen. so member states have said it's our decision to make. members of parliament have said no, it's the will of the people expressed in the elections. so let's be constructive, what is the constructive way forward and how soon do you think this question can be resolved so that we don't have a situation of a lame duck commission? we don't have a president of the council or foreign minister, you know, to take terribly long? thank you.
>> thank you very much. i just want to add for information that the -- according to the new agreement or treaty, yesterday i read a piece that said that the president of the commission, which was not the case before, actually had to also agree to the appointment of every commissioner. so in the past, it was the council appointing the president and the commissioners. now the council appoints the president, has a lot of influence who gets nominated. but the president has the additional power of having to sign off. what that means in practice we'll see. the last question for this round. >> a short one on enlargement. what impact will a successful scottish referendum have on europe going forward? >> what do you mean by successful?
>> successful -- well, the eyes of the -- [ inaudible ] >> by the way, when ann was talking about getting things done, it reminded me of the well-known phrase, we all know what to do, but we don't know how to get elected to do it. now he seems to kind have gotten elected. it was one of those famous sentences from last year. maybe the first one on the enlargement issue, and i have to be internally grateful to my friends from serbia that he mentioned turkey. but any way, there is -- i don't think enlargement is imminent at this point. but there is the whole issue of neighborhoods, balkans, ukraine. i don't think we have time to get into the turkish question, although peter is one of the
world's specialists on that. but is it just kind of dead or is there some hope? who would like to deal with that, isabelle? >> some of the discussion is already under way, and that is already in motion. so if i'm correct, it's serbia montenegro who are in the wings to join. i've spoken to people in the european institutions. they just said at the moment there is enlargement fatigue and you can't expect another wave following the serbia and montenegro joining. mostly over concern of the economy. a lot of the arguments that britain have thrown up romania
and bulgaria joining. so those issues will have to be resolved to some degree and there has to be a slightly more open debate before that enlargement process will continue, as it's done in the past. >> thank you. peter, any views, including on the ukraine, what extent the ukraine crisis, you know, calls for and how -- to what extent has it increased the pressure to have a more cohesive foreign security policy? >> i think the larger agenda is still there. turkey has been a little bit leapfrogged unfortunately by others who have moved a little more rapid in that direction. we take the view that enlargement has been one of the great foreign policy and democracy building successes of the european union.
so we still think that it's the right direction of travel. it will perhaps take a pause at the moment. i think we all knew there was going to be a bit of pause after the last enlargement. some of the concerns people have expressed i think have been -- i won't say discounted but perhaps exaggerated. we have all heard over many, many years that there are great fierce that if you bring in a relatively poor member state, that the more prosperous countries are going to be flooded with people seeking better paying jobs. but as membership leads salary levels to rise, all boats rise, then people have been happy to go back to their own economies.
i think some of those fears have been exaggerated. that's something that tony blair has been saying in a speech earlier today. so i think moving ahead with enlargement is something that we would favor. of course provided the relative member state candidates meet the criteria for membership. does the ukraine crisis change that? we have to deal with a whole issue of ukraine's ability to choose its own future, what direction it wants to take. there's been endless talk about whether ukraine should or shouldn't be allowed to apply nato membership. i think ukraine is a case apart and it needs to be that way. are we going to see more cffp and so on? that really depends on the nature of the crises that we have to address.
i would like to think that the european union in partnership with the united states has done a decent job of handling the ukraine crisis. i would like to think, perhaps i'm naive, that the worst may be behind us, but nothing can be taken for granted. i think the response to the united states and the eu council has shown that the european union can do its job and make a stand on important issues and produce a united view even when there are different levels of economic integration and dependence on oil and gas from russia. but i think it's been a reminder that we do need to have an effective security policy. try make sure we have a
negotiated end to the iranian nuclear situation. i think it will be moving forward in that direction when international crises require it. the european union has not been able to make much of an impact alas on things like syria and the difficulties there. and there are other countries in the middle east and beyond which clearly need a great deal of support from european member states. but i think that will remain a high priority for our government. not sure that it will mean a sudden dramatic acceleration in this part of eu activity. i suspect what's going to happen is we deal with the search for the top jobs, who is going to get what slot and so on. we continue to consolidate the fragile economic recovery, and dealing with the applications that are already there from
countries, rather than rushing off seeking additional challenges except where there is no choice but to try to respond to a new crisis. >> maybe just one point to me was surprising is maybe not that well known and maybe a quick reaction to that. but there seems to be a strong interaction, links, some degree of support between vladamir putin's moscow and some of the extreme parties. the head of the bulgarian party launched its campaign from moscow with very racist statements. nigel ferage expressed admiration for putin and so on.
there is something somewhat new and in the old days when the soviet union was supporting the communist parties in europe, there was something similar. do you see extremism? >> i think that's highly improbable. i could not think of it having any expensive appeal within the eu. within an election campaign, you have some highly unpredictable, regrettable aspects, but i don't think that there is the -- the space within the european union for that to take off in any meaningful way. >> in terms of this issue that monetary policy almost by nature
requires a market for a deep risk-free market. >> let me answer that question, if i may and come back to eastern europe and enlargement. it is interesting with the progress in europe, the term banking union did not exist three years ago. we used it the first time in 2012 and it's amazing how farthings have moved on that front. in terms of banking unions, we have always talked ant three strands of it. the single supervisor, a single resolution, and some form of risk sharing common backstop. on the first, there's clearly been process. faster than people have expected.
i think on single resolution there's been progress but perhaps not as much as not as deep as some like us have been advocating. but there is some progress. where there is least progress is in terms of backstop and risk sharing. that is what is in the interest of the union and what is political acceptable nationally becomes in conflict. one of those strands is precisely what you mentioned is the link between sovereign and the banks. that link is very troublesome during times of stress. of course, those times of stress have passed. so the urgency, despite the declaration in june of 2012 of breaking that, there was some progress but not sufficient progress, i think that is a
problem. in terms of what you mentioned, whether sovereign paper is risk free or not, if you ask any sovereign, they will tell you it is risk free. but a supervisor that looks at balance sheets of banks, when they stretch that balance sheet, it is legitimate to make assumptions about what if this paper is under stress and not risk free. so it is understandable that the ecp would use that. let me come back in terms of eastern europe. i think when the dust settles, everyone will realize that enlargement has been in the interest of both the new member states and the existing members. take the case of poland and ukraine. you mentioned ukraine.
they started at the same level of income post the fall of the berlin wall. and we know where poland is and we know where ukraine is now. vastly apart. the difference has been the european process of integration has generated democratically formed but also major economic reform. and it has also been in the benefit of the core of europe, the german supply chain runs through poland as the german competitiveness is enhanced by what poland has to offer. so i think now is it going to be more difficult moving forward? some of the countries which are potential member states have a long way to go in terms of reform. so just by that nature, lit be more difficult. but in the middle of the crisis, the euro zone expanded, they brought latvia into the euro
zone. >> do you see some kind of mutualized european debt, euro bond in the next five years or not? >> well, i very well understand that germany went out and were not willing to do that for sovereign countries. for me, i always said to my french counterparts, suggesting to make that as a discussion point.
germany has a large part of what it could expect. it's not perfect and i support what i said previously. but at one moment of time in the future, the question will be raised again, and at that moment, it will be more difficult for germany to say we definitely don't want even in a better fiscal frame work to be integrated in this sort of euro bond market.
>> the germans in the beginning were reluctant to save the full complexity of the euro zone crisis, have done their own work much better than the french, and just on that point, i remember that the first proposal we got the euro bond scheme came from germany. so i think that sometimes in the visible future, this could come back to the table. >> and you wanted to say something? >> yes. because i just made a quick answer to your question there. i did want to say just a word about enlargement. not that disagree with any of the words of the colleagues, but i just think, you know, we
shouldn't be -- allow ourself to be kind of zbriped in the fearfulness of the vision, or lack of vision. they're a very small minority. the most gloer use day in europe was in 2004 when we enlarged to -- wrote in the ten new member states. we had this vision of a europe whole and free and we celebrated it. and for the young people who aren't necessarily trapped in the same fears of the older people, for them, it's a rational and a vision for europe that makes sense. so yes to the caution and the carefulness and all of that. but if europe essentially has to be communicated as a vision, as something to believe in, don't let us ever forget that this goes to the heart of what europe is about and what we can believe in. >> thank you very much.
on the macro economics, i'm not quite sure of the uk numbers, but it's kind of interesting that the u.s. has an unemployment rate of 6% and deficit of $350 billion, last 12 months. the eurozone has an unemployment rate close on average, close to 13%, but the surplus has never reached $320. so it's a little strange. so with a such a huge surplus, you would think there's space for expansion. china, who knows what the unemployment rate is? but the current account surplus has shrunk quite a bit below $200 billion. the uk, the current account deficit i think is now about
$110 million, which is very large, and the unemployment rate is around 6.5%. and japan is more or less in balance now, unless i'm wrong, and unemployment rate of about 6%. so it's kind of interesting to keep that in mind. but i find the euro zone number particularly interesting. and this surplus is growing, not shrinking. what i would suggest is that we keep the question for the end for the last round, because it's a question of what constructively can be done to resolve the kind of institutional issue and you can add whatever else. maybe before we do that we take one or two more questions. there was a young gentleman here that asked, and then we will you have time for three. we'll see how quick they are.
>> hi. in light of the recent eu re-elections, there's been a concern how t-tip is going to proceed. and you mentioned there are going to be some short-term complications. i was wondering if you could expound upon that a little bit. >> sure. >> there's also talk about a turn around in market sentiment. i would like to know if those would have any lasting effects on the direction of negotiations. >> as quickly and concise as possible. thank you. >> the question is in regard to legitimacy and the question of debt. debt is a false choice, and i'm quoting robert ruben.
the question is of the quality of the debt. [ indiscernible ] it just doesn't add up. it goes to the question of lord turner's argument, which is we have to look at the quality of the debt. was the debt useful, what are the implications. 2002, 2005, france and germany both break -- but germany finances -- and i will be brief -- the obligations to provide support for the economies.
and, yes, in london, in 1953, the german external debt, 50% written off. the question of legitimacy, 1982. the week before the polls were 54 for the -- in 2005, which is where i'm going to finish, in 2005, it was a resounding no to the question of the constitution, what did we have? [ indiscernible ] >> last question over there. yes?
okay, we'll -- you have to be very quick, okay? in the back there. >> people have talked very positively about eastern europe, but there's a bit of a paradox, because the participation rates in europe were among the worst. slovakia was just in the teens. it would be interesting to get perspective on what's happening here. are they disenchanted with the european institution? >> the gentleman on the very end, thank you very much. please identify yourself. >> my name is michael burnside. i have a strange question that involves a definition, a definition of the word job. in this country, historically my grandfather and his father's time period, a job was six days out of seven, and ten hours a day. in my father's time and my time, it's five days and eight hours a day. as an american, it's been
interesting watch europe, i think france for a while had a 35-hour workweek and sweden has asked part of its civil service to do a six-hour day. in stability and politics, it's important for young people to have work. is there any hope of redefining this word job that we throw around so easily? >> thank you. very interesting question actually. but limited time. so what we'll do now is have a last round. please do address some of the last questions. we can't take anymore questions unfortunately. but also give your view or answer to miriam's question, briefly, of course. and ann, you're free to leave when you have to catch your plane. maybe what we'll do is start with you so that you have the chance of leaving if you have to. >> okay. i will try to, for reasons of
time and because others of greater expertise on some of these, will try to answer all the questions. t-tip, because i think there was something addressed to me on that. i really wanted to send a positive forward looking message on t-tip and i said in passing that there may be some blips, if you like. what i meant by that is it's going to take time for things to settle down in the european parliament with 30% of the euro skeptics, et cetera. we may see some debate, discussion from them about the wisdom of t-tip, because a lot of people are concerned about globalization. there will need to be discussion and so on. but i didn't need to suggest anything that's correct slow the momentum of t-tip in any way because it truly has to move forward. and our young people, they need
to be doing something worthwhile that's going to give them a living wage. i think that's how they see it. disappointing, of course, to see those very low turnout rates in countries like slovakia in particular. on miriam's question, it's obviously in retrospect. i really hope and believe that it will be resolved in a mature way. the president of the european council has been tasked to take it forward, to make soundings. he hasn't been given a deadline, but i think it's generally understood people want him to proceed in an expeditious way.
so yes, it needs to be addressed seriously and time needs to be allowed for that. but i don't think anyone is thinking of this dragging on for months and month lgs. as to how they address it constructively, we shouldn't forget there are three jobs in this package, jobs of members of the commission, as well. but the normal thing that mature people do, a, i will hope that in the light of the election results, that we look at the qualities that are required, look at the individuals, look at the three jobs, and see what is a mature way forward that's good for europe. that's how i hope it will play out. i think -- and i've seen this happen in europe, that, yes, people articulate their views, but in the end of the day, i think there will be a maturity
and a coming together in the interest of europe going forward. >> thank you. you said something very important, that a lot of what we're debating is way beyond europe, i think. it's really how to manage globalization and international cooperation and global public goods. president obama has taken a major initiative on power plant standards this week. i was with ed stern just last week. all the evidence is that the climate change threat is -- it may not be an immediate threat for tomorrow. but for the next 10, 20 years, something very serious has to be done. but all this needs some kind of global cooperation and action. in the sense europe is a kind of -- if it fails, it will have
tremendously negative impacts everywhere else. so i think -- we're debating europe today, but we're debating on how to manage 21st century enter dependencies. the answers are not easy. all politics are tremendously local. and yet there are many problems that have to be addressed globally. so isabelle, what are your last words of wisdom? >> just in terms of t-tip, the fact that in europe, there is a real skepticism towards t-tip.
i think that might well be played out in the parliament, because the greens aren't for t-tip, they're not backing it and asking for a more open discussion. they don't like the fact that it's being held in closed doors. i think it will probably go ahead. there is concern in europe that europe will be a loser in that. so that needs to be presented to europeans more clearly, because i think it's going to be win-win for the u.s. and for europe. in terms of eastern europe, slovakia's participation rate was 13%, if you look at a lot of the countries in eastern europe, maybe they're not feeling the benefits.
so that is going to have to change. they've not been made to feel particularly welcome by britain, so there are these factors. there's probably a certain amount of disenchanment. in terms of the candidate, i suppose we know that angela merkel is in the driving seat here. she found herself between a rock and a hard place, because which ever decision she makes is not going to have necessarily a positive outcome.
>> angela merkel certainly won't want to be the chancellor who was in power when britain left europe. so whatever happens, it's going to be very difficult. one of the leaders of the greens said that if jacque layunca doesn't become president of the council -- they can't expect any cooperation from the parliament. so it will be a clash of the institutions despite the fact that the president of the council says he'll try to avoid that. so the constructive part, possibly a super candidate. my colleagues don't think it's necessarily going to happen, but she might be one of the super candidates who could override
all these discussions. he could be a very good commission president. >> all right. we're getting into new speculations here. jacque? last word of wisdom. >> first about legitimacy. i would say two things. first of all, democracy, you have 51 persons that makes the decision. and it's legitimate and has been confi confirmed. [ indiscernible ]
>> you mean at the presidential? >> yes. every voter who was willing to vote, they are -- so don't overemphasize that. t-tip, when faced with a difficult situation, i came back from -- by using american corporations. so the question is, t-tip is a difficult legitimate process. i would say that it would not be more difficult with the new parliament. jobs, well, personally i'm quite -- i worked for the prime minister --
[ indiscernible ] this is my political genes, and i suppose we came out that this could be part of far-reaching social contracting in europe. finally regarding the credit, the parliamentary example was now to veto or to accept the proposal of the council. so the council definitely doesn't nominate the president of the commission. his candidate has to be approved by the parliament. i share the view of the heads of government certainly want this issue to be resolved relatively
rapidly. first, the head of the -- will be the natural candidates for the job. and second, we want to keep the flexibility to nominate the president. this was the prediction which mrs. merkel was taken last week. [ indiscernible ] so it's not a personable question, it's really an institutional question. and the new electoral body like
the parliament will not see -- a super candidate, i don't believe. i'm always happy to see french people in a position to be candidates like that. but i think that the parliament has no reason to accept anyone coming outside from his electoral area. so i think they're both excellent candidates. i'm not sure that the best job for them is head of the commission. >> let me answer the debt question and also touch on the jobs question. on the debt, there are two separate issues. there use sustainability, where it really depends on the ability
of the country to finance its debt. other countries get into trouble be instability. the impact on growth is another issue. it is -- if you look at a correlation of investments and debt, you see that high debt leads to lower investment, hence lower growth. if you look at the correlation of consumption and debt, when debt is high, consumers don't spend, growth is low. we have done a lot of work on this across countries. when debt is high, it reduces investment, which is a major problem right now in europe. investment levels are way, way below crisis. therefore it weighs on growth. in that sense, addressing the
debt issue is important. but that is a separate issue. >> just to clarify. when the debt was high, interest rates would be high and that was depressing investment. >> when your balance sheet is incumbered if you have a very high debt, then even at low interest rates, you may be concerned that you will not be able to have a profitable enterprise and will not be investing. as a consumer, when you look at the demographics in europe, you may be concerned about your pension, your ability to consume later and therefore withhold consumption in the short term. so there's a very clear relationship between growth and debt if you break it down in different dimensions.
on the jobs, what the questioner asked is very important. i think the issue is not a standard job that people define. the world is changing. one may work for 15 hours or 30 hours, one may work for much longer. the issue is flexibility to do that and the regulations that govern that. the problem in europe is that flexibility, both in terms of cost and regulation when it comes to contracts, are too rigid. so you need to have that more flexible, and of course it's difficult to do that when the protection and the cost of labor has been very high, but you need that in order to create jobs. but what you also need at the same time, and europeans are good at that, is social protection. so protecting the worker, not
the position. >> i have not ask you your views on the super candidate. >> thank you. >> peter? >> thank you. a couple of points on those questions. on the labor and the jobs and what is a job as opposed to top jobs. obviously what europe needs is to have a properly flexible definition of labor market, which allows for a whole lot of changes and the way people live their lives. the british foreign office, we see two people who are joint heads of the department. they do 2 1/2 days each at this job. people take 80% of the pay and do four days instead of five.
we're doing this because i think it's right to be flexible and it's also a key to diversity. we're not going to be able to attract all the talent we want when people have other requirements in their lives. to it's about regulation and it's about a culture of being more adaptable in terms of those of us who are the employers. second point that i would make, how are we going to advance on the selection of these key positions? yes, we want to do this with haste and dignity, but let's not forget what the treaty says. it says that it is for the council, for the heads of government between themselves. if necessary, voting by qualified majority to nominate a
candidate who is voted on by the european parliament. so people who have come through, that's fine, they're out there amongst the candidates that have been presented. i think we need to be clear what the rules are and what the treaty says and the government will need to work out amongst themselves. hopefully we'll then end up with some answers. but others have said it's not just one job, we've also got a president of the council, the high rep, and the vice president of the commission, and we have all the other key jobs and
hopefully we will all be able to find ourselves in a position where everybody is contempt with the outcomes. i will reframe from commenting on the names we mentioned other than to say there are some outstandingly good french candidates whose name could be in the ring. but there are plenty of other candidates, as well. i'll not go further than that. and then what about scotland independence, what would that mean? there will be a referendum in scotland on the 18th of september, when people who live in scotland, not english, welsh, northern irish, but those people that live in scotland above the age of 16 will be invited to vote on whether or not scotland will become independent and separate itself from the united kingdom. this is a pretty big deal for my country, and a lot of us are concerned about what the implications might be.
my government has facilitated the holding of that referendum as a result of the election of a scottish majority in the elections last time around. but the british government is not neutral on the issue. they take the view that we would like the united kingdom to stay together, and that's why you will hear scottish and english and welsh and other members of parliament expressing an opinion as to whether they do or do not want scotland to become independent. if they do become independent on the 18th of september, that is what will happen. and we'll all have to make a whole lot of changes to a lot of things in the ways which the united kingdom conducts its business. one of many questions that arises, and there are lots about foreign investment, about nato
commitments, about pension rights, there is also the question of the european union membership. i think mr. salmon, the first minister of scotland, expects there to be a seamless transition to scottish membership of the european union. that is not what leaders of the eu have said. other political leaders have said if scott larnld leaves the united kingdom and wants to join the eu, it will have to take its place in the cue and apply like every other candidate country and require unanimous content of the members of the eu. i would be surprised if that done in 18 months, but we will see.
it is a number of receive complex questions that would arise. >> thank you very much, peter. let me just add a few words and we'll close. i think some of what -- as ann started off with, it has to do with the way you incorporate a global economy in a global word. the cooperation between nation states is still the main way one cooperates, and the nation states is not about to go away, even within europe as we see. i think it also still is a source of a lot of democratic legitimacy because of the feeling of belonging to identity, but i do believe, and we had examples of that today and we'll have other examples that many issues do require a degree of cooperation between nation states and the degree of
global citizenship or regional citizenship, in africa, for example. africa could do much better if there was integration in africa. so we're struggling with it, in my open experience, let me share one thing. how a person gets a particular job that is super national and the commission is a much more political organization than the imf or the world bank is for example. to some degree, there is -- there are bureaucracies that try to solve economic problems and manage global cooperation and so on. there has to be a certain amount of legitimacy in these bureaucracies, which they often
have to be kind of personalized, because in politics and in global civics and media, things get very personalized. with the person, he or she who is heading these organizations, i think to view the appointments as technocratic is no longer appropriate for today's world. there have been figures who was a technician and not a political leader, but at the same time had a direct message to citizens and was accepted as such by citizens. there are other examples one can give, you know, from other enter national institutions. many, many years ago, i don't want to go into current examples, because it's kind of controversial. but despite the problems of the
vietnam problem, robert mcnamara was head of the world cup and he was addressing global citizenship so to speak. and there have been leaders of the imf who have done similarly. so that element is important and to view global corporation as purely a matter of national diplomacy cooperating and working together, i think underestimates the degree of need there is for a global or regional demos in a way. but we are very far away from having achieved this yet. thank you so much for coming all of you, and thank particularly the panel, the wonderful panel we've had. i hope you've enjoyed this and brookings is fulfilling its mission of bringing such discussions together and please give a round of applause to our panelists. [ applause ]
we wanted a building that was very accessible to the community. and it needed to be -- to incorporate a future that we didn't -- we can't predict the future. part of the problem with the old library is that we were tapped out on as many computers and wiring that we could fit into that structure. so our new building needed a lot of flexibility and movement into the future. one thing we liked about the design is he combined different geometric features. we have the triangular main part
of the building, a round auditorium that sits on the side of the building. a rectangular structure on the west side. and then the crescent wall that hugs the library on the north and east side. all of these different geometric features are bridged together with skylights. so just light flows through the buildings at all levels, and we have a 360 degree view of our surroundings. >> i think it's vital for a community to have a library that brings people together. this particular space was geared in bringing the community together. it's an important for people to remember the things that hold a city together. the public safety officers, the mayor and his various apartments and the library. i like that we have physically done that with our architecture.
>> this weekend, learn about the rich history and literary life of salt lake city, utah, saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2's become tv and sunday on c-span3. >> how a heritage foundation discussion on the congressional investigation into the benghazi attacks in 2012. this is an hour. >> welcome to the heritage foundation. to our online viewers and our viewers as well as on c-span. today we're here to discuss a topic that is as unsettling as it is deeply important. ever since the attack on the american diplomatic mission in benghazi, libya on september 11, 2012, left four americans killed, including the u.s.
ambassador to libya. the american people have trying to get to the bottom of what happened that terrible night. how and why were those decisions made? why were u.s. military assets not deployed in a more timely matter. how did the administration come up with a full narrative of a youtube video to explain the terrorist attack? and why did they continue to stick to that narrative in the days and weeks following the attack. as for how the investigation begins into the event of that night, and the administration's response, many questions remain unanswered. a lamb -- lack of transparency has been the obama administration's response so far. the house select committee hopefully will be able to find answers to those questions and bring closure to the families of the victims. as well as hold administration
failures accountable for any failures. help us identify the question the select committee should be pursuing. we have with us today a very distinguished panel. we have first off, peter brooks, who is the senior fellow in national security affairs here at heritage. before joining heritage, peter served in the bush administration as deputy assistant secretary of defense for asian and pacific affairs in the office of donald rumsfeld. prior to that, he worked as a professional staff member on the house international relations committee. peter has served as an intelligence officer with the cia, focusing on global political -- peter served on active duty in the american navy. he's currently pursuing a doc
doctrine at doctrine. he's a regular contributor to fox news and cnn. next, we have a senior legal fellow with the edwin meese foundation and manager of the election law reform interdiction. before joining heritage in 2008, he served two years in the federal action commission and as council to the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the department of justice. he's a graduate of m.i.t. and vanderbilt. last but not least, heather dale is the senior fellow for public diplomacy.
she previously served as editor for the washington pines where she oversaw the papers on local politics, as well as foreign affairs. heather joined heritage in 2002 as deputy director. her work has been featured in outlets including "the wall street journal," the weekly standard. she's written numerous articles on the benghazi issue, and will continue doing so for the new heritage blog the signal, which is the launch is tomorrow. we look forward to heather's remarks. with that, over to you, peter. >> good morning, everybody. i won't talk for long, which should believe a relief to many of you in the audience here. but i am going to add a little bit to the list of questions
that he mentioned in his introduction. something new. something that i've been concerned about. my colonel is that we haven't brought anybody to justice for benghazi to my knowledge. there's been no apprehensions from what i can tell. there have been no arrests. there have been no military raids, no drone strikes. nothing as far as i can see or that i'm aware of. i check the news and have been following this issue for a bit and i've not seen anything so far. and it's troubling to me, because we're moving on 21 or so months before the terrible attacks on benghazi, on our diplomatic facilities there in benghazi. it will be two years this september. i hope the special committee will spend some of its time on this. i'm bothered by the fact that no
one has been held to account. first, justice needs to be served for the terrorist acts against u.s. diplomats, citizens and diplomatic facilities. the other thing i'm very worried about is, well, what sort of signal does this appearance of u.s. passivity, whether it's actual or perceived, send to others who would do us harm? i understand investigations can take time. there have been some -- i believe some indictments laid down. the state department came out in january and identified al sharia as responsible for the attacks on the u.s. embassy in benghazi. captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2008